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Nike schools linked to college hoops corruption scandal

The pay-for-play shoe company saga continues to unfold, and Kentucky has been mentioned.

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By now, everyone is familiar with the shoe company “pay-for-play” scandal in college basketball.

The story has been out of the limelight for quite some time now, but a recent trove of evidence submitted to the court in defense of two former Adidas employees. And it seems disgraced-agent Christian Dawkins may stir the pot a little.

In an article for Yahoo Sports, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel, and Dan Wetzel detail what the documents contained.

Former Adidas consultant Merl Code, Jr., is heard on a recording from a conversation with investigators in June of 2017 saying that, “Nike schools pay, too.” Code worked at Nike for 14 years before joining Adidas.

“It’s a corrupt space as it is and cheating is cheating,” Code is quoted as saying in the transcript. “Whether I give you a dollar, $100,000, or I get your mom and dad jobs, it’s cheating. … So, in some form or fashion, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Kentucky, and all of the schools are doing something to help get kids. That’s just a part of the space.”

The documents also contained an August 2017 text conversation between former consultant TJ Gassnola and Kansas head coach Bill Self. In the conversation, Gassnola and Self talk about how the recruiting sphere works for the apparel companies.

“In my mind it’s KU Bill Self,” Gassnola texted. “Everyone else falls into line, to [expletive] bad, that’s what’s right for adidas Basketball. And I know I am RIGHT. The more you win, have lottery picks. And you happy. That’s how it should work in my mind.”

Self responded by saying, “That’s how ur works. At unc and Duke.”

“Kentucky as well,” Gassnola replied.

It remains to be seen if the investigation, which has largely centered on Adidas, will expand in scope. But I think this does reveal just how far the corruption goes in the world of college basketball.

Be sure to read the full Yahoo Sports article here. And follow along with A Sea of Blue for all your Kentucky Wildcats news and updates.